To help convicts boost their savings and adapt to the mainstream on release, the Vellore Central Prison has been engaging them in various constructive activities like shoe making and running a fuel retail outlet, and farming. Now added to the list of revenue earning initiatives are sugarcane cultivation and fish farming, reported The New Indian Express.
“We have recently begun sugarcane cultivation and fish farming in the prison premises by employing the convicts,” said V Rukmani Priyadarshini, Superintendent of Vellore Central Prison.
Besides sugarcane, vegetables including brinjal and tomato are being cultivated in the Vellore prison farm by convicts. “About 300 sugarcane cuttings have been planted in the prison farm,” she added.
As many as ten convicts are involved in sugarcane cultivation. The shoe making unit initially manufactured shoes only for men, but women’s shoes are also being made now — all of which are being sold to personnel of the police, fire and rescue services and prison departments across the state. Rukmani Priyadarshini said that the first consignment of ladies shoes was dispatched last week.
As many as 90 convicts, who are engaged in shoe making, are paid wages amounting to Rs 10,000 per month, and 80 pairs of shoes are manufactured per day.
Altogether — including petrol bunk run by the convicts — the prison registers sales of Rs 7-8 lakh per day.